In the early 2000s, I graduated with a BA in Ethnic Studies (with honors) from the University of California, San Diego. I will never forget my experience learning from and working with faculty and graduate students whose vision of Ethnic Studies as a worldview pushed us (students) to imagine that another world was possible and that even the mundane activities of our everyday lives were valuable spaces of which to test it out with others. I’ve carried this spirit with me ever since in my work with non-profit organizations centered on education and youth violence, as a (short-lived) music and sports journalist, and, now, as a faculty member teaching at UHM. In the classroom, I encourage students to develop their own ideas and toolkits for how they can shape the places they inhabit.
- PhD, American Culture, University of Michigan, 2011
- MA, American Culture, University of Michigan, 2006
- BA, Ethnic Studies with Honors, UC San Diego, 2003
My research focuses on the placemaking practices of Asian American communities as it relates to urban renewal/redevelopment, suburbanization and globalization, and consumption. I am currently working on a manuscript that examines how racial and spatial discourses of suburban Silicon Valley shape the exclusionary identity and community formations of middle-class Chinese immigrant professionals and their families. In collaboration with the Center for Oral History, I am developing a “Chinese in Hawaiʻi” oral history project that explores issues of im/migration, employment, military service, urban development, and more. My previously published articles and chapters, also, investigate issues of race and citizenship in media narratives of Asian American commercial hip-hop production.
I am working with the Center for Oral History to document the experiences of Chinese in Hawaiʻi. For the last few years, I have co-directed the Exploratory Committee on Asian American Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa (ECAASUHM) with Dr. Joyce Mariano, assistant professor of American Studies at UHM. I previously served on the board of the Chinese Community Action Coalition, which is based out of Chinatown, Honolulu, HI.